Although I have never attended a narcotics anonymous meeting, my various Netflix binge-watching tells me the first step is admitting you have a problem. So, hello my name is S, and I am addicted to my smartphone. I experience extreme anxiety if I don’t know where my phone is at all times, this is usually presented through a frantic twist and twirl as I search every possible place and pocket, inevitably looking like a dog chasing its tail. It’s pretty safe to say that I could not go an entire day without checking it, I experience phantom vibrations, I sleep with it right next to my bed, and usually it is the last and first thing I lay my eyes on. You could say we’re just in a committed relationship, but I think my network provider would disagree. I am an addict.
I think that I am fortunate to be of an age at which I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet revolution. The days when dial up hogged our phone lines, and it was a special treat to go to the video store to rent a VHS. I feel privileged to not have had apps like Snapchat and Instagram when I was in high school, and that it was the early days for Facebook. I am glad that I was able to grow up in a world without those dimensions, but that does not make me any less of an addict.
I used to find humour into going into a café or restaurant and see all the people on their phone instead of talking to their dining partner. Then one day, I looked up from my smartphone, and realized that this was not as humorous as I had once thought, it was the beginning of a deterioration of social interaction. The more I thought about it, and the more I watched the people around me, the more I came to the realization that it is a prolific issue. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been in a restaurant with someone, and they have spent half the time on their phone. I know I am not completely innocent of this, but it is definitely one of my greatest pet peeves. All I think when someone doe this to me is that I must not be interesting enough, or who they really want to be spending time with. Realistically, I know this is not the case. People literally cannot seem to help themselves, they are literally too attached to their phones.
I wanted to know a little more information about smart phone addictions, and so I did a little research. What I found was A LOT. There are hundreds of articles about it floating around out there. How smartphones change our brains, how we are living our whole lives online, and how women are more likely to be addicts than men. I felt like I was suddenly drowning in information. There is so much to know, and when it related too closely to myself it seems too daunting to learn it all.
I have, however, always been a big proponent of self betterment. So, for the interest of learning more about the issue, and ways in which we can deal with it, over the next few posts I am going to delve a bit deeper. I will take a look at the issue as a whole, and how we can overcome it.
Oops! I think my phone just vibrated. BRB.